We recently passed on the alarm that a policy shift at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would restrict the agency’s study of the toxic effects of so-called “legacy chemicals” as stated in our previous article on EPA policy shift.
Now, it seems that the government’s dangerous neglect of toxic risks is about to be extended even farther. A budget bill released November 20, 2017 by the United States Senate would completely eliminate EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System [“IRIS”]. Scientists working under IRIS have been central to the efforts to evaluate health risks posed by chemicals released through industrial practices and disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey. Their findings have helped provide the basis for much-needed regulation of hazardous substances.
The elimination of IRIS represents a dangerous backward step, and will only benefit polluters, leaving their victims in the dark about the harm done to them. Citizens should tell their elected representatives that this is unacceptable.